by Alex A. Kecskes
Not long ago, a Crescent Store in Leasingham, near Sleaford, Lincolnshire, UK, burned to the ground, resulting in £250,000 of damage. When insurance investigators dug into the cause, they concluded that a sparrow picked up a smoldering cigarette butt and dropped it on its nest under the eaves. Investigators also found 35 cigarette butts in a number of sparrows’ nests in the roof.
The owner of the store got out in time, thanks to a customer who alerted him to the fire, but the shop was totally destroyed. Both the upstairs and the flat were burned away. The suspended ceilings and all the electrics were down. Even the fridges were ruined. Investigators were surprised to see how much damage a little bird carrying a butt could cause. It took six weeks to clean up the mess, rebuild and re-open the shop.
If only the Crescent Store in Leasingham had been protected with effective bird deterrents. Had they installed No-Knot Bird Netting, for example, there would have been not place for sparrows to nest. Hence, no fire. A little prevention could have gone a long way here..
No-Knot Bird netting has been successfully used to deny pest birds like sparrows from entering eaves and other unwanted areas. The netting is a humane, low profile solution to problems presented by sparrows, pigeons, gulls, starlings and crows. It comes in several stock sizes and custom cuts. For smaller birds like sparrows, a 3/4-inch mesh would do the job nicely.
One brand of No-Knot Bird Netting has the longest guarantee on the market--10 years. It’s very light, non-conductive and easy to install, yet it has a break strength of 50 pounds. This netting is made of flame resistant, multi-strand polypropylene fiber. (Polypropylene is chemically inert and will resist the influence of many chemicals at ordinary temperatures.) Look for netting that has been ISO 1806 Protocol Mesh tested. It should not rot, absorb water, or mildew. It should also have U.V. inhibitors to withstand years of direct sunlight. And it should be able to tolerate a wide temperature range without degrading.
To get the most out of No-Knot Bird Netting, it should be correctly installed. Before installing the netting, all surfaces should be free of bird droppings, nesting materials, loose rust, peeling paint or other debris. If the netting is incorrectly installed, it will sag, leaving gaps that birds can work their way through.